I’ve always known I’m an anomoly. I think it should be obvious to my family and friends but sometimes I’m hugely surprised that it’s not.
I’m almost 62. Except for a few “minutes” as the kids call it now, I’ve lived alone for all of my adult life. Never married. No roommates since college. My dad lived with me in my house the last 3 years of his life. I stayed with a friend for about a month once. But that’s it. So it’s all I’ve ever known. But even I get that people are not meant to be alone. But it happens. And it’s so foreign to some that I don’t understand them sometimes any more than they understand me.
My sweet daddy, when he lived with me in those last 3 years, used to try to walk around in the dark in the early morning because he did not want to waste electricity. He was a teenager in the depression and grew up poor. And when he married my mom, who could personally balance the federal budget in a week, he never saw a bill. He literally brought home his paycheck, gave it to her, got $20 for pocket money & one check for his wallet. And if he spent the check, he needed to bring home a receipt or he could not have another check. But he never even saw a bill or knew what they had in the bank until my mom died. And even then, I’d write the checks & give him his same $20 & he’d personally deliver the checks. He did have checks for groceries and gas and could always get cash from the bank so for the record, I did not leave him high and dry. But there is a point to this. One day I was teasing him about walking around in the dark & he asked me, “Do you even know how much your electricity bill is?”. At the time, I’d lived on my own for about 30 years. I was actually dumbfounded, a rarity for me. Who did he think paid my bills? For everything in my life?
Today I talked to my elderly uncle. We were discussing supper, something that is standard fare for old people. I told him I was making a steak and baked potato for my supper. “By yourself?” he asked. I told him yes, and he was amazed that I’d cook for myself. What he, and most people who have people, doesn’t understand is that I share a meal probably 2 times every month with another human. I eat out only then. Maybe one day a week or so I bring home something from a drive thru. And every other meal I prepare & eat at home. Alone. The thing I miss most in the world is sharing a meal with a family. Too many don’t take advantage of that meal every day. I sure wish I could.
It’s a different era and there are more of us loners. But some will never get it and good for them. I’ve adjusted to alone and even though it’s not my choice, I’m ok.